As traders of Elele Alimini Market, Emohua local government area of Rivers State are now counting their losses over the fire incident that destroyed goods worth millions of Naira in the market, stakeholders in the Clan have called for the establishment of a firefighting station to serve the villages.
Speaking to Journalists at the scene of the incident, Maharaj Augustine Mgbomo , the Acting Paramount Ruler and Chairman of Elele Alimini Supreme Council of Chiefs, explained that he was at his palace when a distress call came that the community market has been engulfed by fire.
He said he quickly went to the scene of the incident, explaining that some young men at the scene of the incident helped in putting out the fire, which according to him has already done damages to the traders and shops owners.
Mgbomo, who said the cause of the fire was linked to the sales of adulterated kerosene in the middle of the market, regretted that if there was a standby firefighting station around the constituency such damages would have been averted.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the Rivers State government to as a matter of urgency have a second thought of bringing closer to them a standby fire-fitting machine to forestall further occurrence.
The paramount ruler further appealed to the state government, public-spirited individuals and men of goodwill to come to the aid of the traders who have lost their capital as a result of the fire incident, saying that good number of the traders might be on that transaction base on trust which if nothing good comes to their way might lead to a more dangerous situation.
Maharaj Mbomo further said that the market is the major source of revenue to the community and lamented that part of the building was also affected, and will require huge amount of money to fix it hence the need for the multinationals and the Rivers State Government to come to their aid to fix the market which serves as the trade centre for fruits and other perishable goods in Rivers State.
However, Mrs.Victoria Rufus who was accused of engaging in the activity that caused the fire incident told Journalists that it started when a client came to buy her kerosene and insisted that she should be allowed to test the alleged adulterated kerosine to confirm if it is true or not. She said that she has been in the business for the past 8 months without problems, adding that she had already confirmed the product in a Waterfront market where she bought it and blamed the devil for what she described as mysterious fire. The suspect was however handed over to the police for further investigations.